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    Credit Card Balance Transfer

    Struggling to pay down the outstanding balance on multiple credit cards? Instead of dealing with high rates of interest and penalty fees, consolidating your debt into one card that charges a much lower rate of interest and offers other facilities like processing fee waivers or lower introductory charges can be a smart choice.

    A balance transfer is a credit line and/or personal loan product that helps you consolidate your card debts, reduce your cost burden, and enjoy greater financial stability.

    Credit Card Balance Transfer

    What Is Balance Transfer and How It Works

    It is a process by which you can transfer the outstanding balances on other cards to one card.

    However, you’ll be able to transfer balances only up to the credit limit approved for this card, which means that if you want to move a debt of S$3,700 to a card which has a credit limit of S$2,500, you’ll only manage to transfer S$2,500. Most lenders also charge a one-time processing fee.

    Before you apply for a balance transfer, here are the things you need to know:

    • You’re paying off debts on your old cards with a new card.
    • These are usually short-term credit facilities. If you fail to repay the entire outstanding balance within the tenure chosen, you may be charged much higher rates of interest.
    • Try not to make new purchases with this card because this would increase your debt obligation and defeat the purpose of using this facility. Some card issuers charge 0% interest only on the transferred balance while new transactions are charged at the regular rate. Talk to your lender for more details before you charge a new purchase to your Credit card.

    Benefits of Using Balance Transfer

    • Enjoy lower interest rates.
    • Enjoy special introductory offers like processing fee waivers, and 0% interest.
    • Enjoy joining perks and other benefits which weren’t available on your older cards.
    • Since the lender clears your existing debt with other lenders and offers a new deal with reduced charges, paying off your debt usually becomes easier. This may help improve your credit score.
    • Instead of paying multiple card bills, you’ll have to pay just one. This reduces chances of missed payments and late payments.
    • If you transfer your outstanding debt to a card with a very high credit limit, there is a chance that you can reduce your credit utilisation ratio. This, in turn, can improve your credit score.

    Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards

    Balance transfer is an excellent option if you have run up a huge debt on multiple credit cards. You can save a lot on interest repayments by transferring the outstanding balance from all your cards to one single card, which offers an interest-free or low-interest repayment option. Most balance transfer credit cards offer an APR of 0%.

    Here, we take a look at the top balance transfer credit cards available in Singapore right now. They offer a range of benefits. Choose the one that serves your interests best.

    Bank Name Interest Rate Processing Fee Special Benefits
    Citi Balance Transfer APR: 0%
    • 1.58% for new customers on 3-month and 6-month plans.
    • 2.5% on a 6-month plan for existing customers.
    • 5.5% on a 12-month plan for existing customers.
    • Effective interest rate (EIR) starts from 3.65% p.a.
    • Pay a minimum of 1% of the outstanding amount, subject to a minimum of S$50 to roll the loan over.
    • Enjoy flexibility in repayments.
    HSBC’s Card Balance Transfer
    • EIR: 4.39% p.a. for 6 months
    • 6.77% p.a. for 12 months
    • Enjoy low administrative fee of 2.5% for the 6-month plan and 4.88% for the 12-month plan.
    • Get waiver on processing fees for amounts of S$10,000 or above.
    • Money is transferred electronically to an account of your choice on loan approval.
    DBS Balance Transfer
    • APR: 0% for 6 months.
    • 0% for 12 months.
    • 3.58% for 6 months
    • 6.38% for 12 months
    • Online exclusive EIR starts from 5.2% p.a.
    • Get NTUC vouchers worth S$300 if you apply online on or before 30 June 2018.
    • No documents required for existing DBS customers.
    Maybank Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 6 months Starts from 1.38%
    • EIR as low as 2.96% p.a.
    • Cash savings of up to 88%.
    OCBC Balance Transfer APR: 0%
    • 1.8% for 3 months
    • 2.5% for 6 months
    • 4.5% for 12 months
    • EIR as low as 4.99% p.a.
    • Low minimum payment of S$50 or 3% of the outstanding balance, whichever is more.
    • Multiple modes of application.

    Credit Card Balance Transfer Promotions

    Several banks in Singapore offer balance transfer facility for credit card accounts. With this facility, you can transfer your outstanding balances from one or more cards to another. This has been designed to help you save on interest charges, besides providing you with additional cash savings.

    Most banks that have balance transfer facility also offer promotions from time to time for using this facility. These promotions usually lower the interest rate and the processing fees charged on this facility.

    Take a look at some of the promotions running currently on balance transfer facilities across several banks. The following table illustrates the interest rates and processing fees charged by different banks as part promotions on balance transfer facility:

    Bank Product Promotional rate of interest (p.a.)/vouchers/cashback offered Minimum balance transfer amount
    Citibank Balance Transfer 0% interest rate for both new and existing customers for a 3-month and 6-month tenure S$500
    HSBC HSBC’s Card Balance Transfer
    • 2.50% p.a. interest rate for a 6-month tenure
    • 4.88% p.a. interest rate for a 12-month tenure
    • S$1,000 for using the facility
    • S$10,000 to enjoy the processing fee waiver
    DBS/POSB DBS/POSB Balance Transfer
    • NTUC vouchers worth S$100 for approved loan amounts in the range S$10,000 - S$19,999
    • NTUC vouchers worth S$200 for approved loan amounts in the range S$20,000 - S$29,999
    • NTUC vouchers worth S$300 for approved loan amounts in the range S$30,000 and above
    • Promotional administrative fee of 2.5% for a 3-month tenure and 4.5% for a 6-month tenure
    • S$500 for using the facility
    • S$10,000 for the promotion to be applicable
    • Promotional administrative fee is only applicable for online applications

    Balance Transfer Promotions in Singapore 2018

    Citibank Balance Transfer Interest Rate Promotion

    Enjoy 0% interest rate on a tenure of 6 and 12 months - applies to both new and existing customers.

    The following table illustrates the various interest rates and processing fees applicable currently for using the facility in case of credit cards:

    Period (months) Nominal rate of interest (p.a.) Effective rate of interest (p.a.) Processing fee
    New Citibank customers
    3 months 0% 6.73% p.a. 1.58%
    6 months 0% 3.65% p.a. 1.58%
    Existing customers
    6 months 0% 5.81% p.a. 2.5%
    12 months 0% 7.87% p.a. 5.5%

    Terms and Conditions

    • The promotion will be applicable until otherwise withdrawn by the bank.
    • You have to transfer a minimum sum of S$500, denominated in Singapore dollars.
    • Rewards under Citibank’s loyalty programs will not apply on the balance transfer facility.
    • For further terms and conditions, please contact the bank.

    HSBC’s Card Balance Transfer Preferential Interest Rate Promotion

    Enjoy an interest rate of 2.5% p.a. and 4.88% p.a. on tenors of 6 months and 12 months, respectively when you apply for the balance transfer facility. You can also enjoy a waiver on the processing fee for both the tenors.

    The following table illustrates the various interest rates and processing fees applicable currently for using the facility in case of credit cards:

    Tenure (months) Applied rate of interest (p.a.) Effective rate of interest (p.a.) Processing fee
    6 months 2.5% p.a. 4.39% p.a. S$88
    12 months 4.88% p.a. 6.77% p.a. S$88

    Terms and Conditions

    • The preferential rate of interest will be applicable from the balance transfer date. Existing outstanding balances will not enjoy preferential interest rates.
    • You have to transfer a minimum amount of S$1,000 for this facility, however, the processing fee waiver is only applicable for a minimum transfer amount of S$10,000 and above.
    • The maximum amount that can be transferred stands at 95% of the aggregate credit limit available. Any outstanding amount will be deducted prior to your application being processed.
    • Corporate, US dollar, and co-branded/affinity cardholders are not eligible for this promotion.
    • For full terms and conditions, please contact HSBC.

    DBS/POSB Balance Transfer Get up to S$300 NTUC Vouchers Online Promotion

    Enjoy NTUC vouchers for three different approved loan amount tiers when you apply for a DBS/POSB Balance Transfer facility.

    The value of NTUC vouchers earned against each tier is illustrated in the table below:

    Approved loan sum Value of NTUC vouchers
    S$10,000 - S$19,999 S$100
    S$20,000 - S$29,999 S$200
    S$30,000 or more S$300

    Terms and Conditions

    • Promotion will remain valid until 30 June 2018.
    • You have to transfer a minimum amount of S$500 for using this facility, however, for the promotion to be applicable, you have to get a minimum amount of S$10,000 approved in one single application or combined applications on Cashline and credit card.
    • You must submit your application through self-apply online application portal and have it approved.
    • Maximum amount that can be transferred stands at 93% of the aggregate credit limit available.
    • Offer can be redeemed only once in one of the promotional tiers for the entire period of promotion.
    • For further details on the terms and conditions, get in touch with the bank.

    Things to Consider Before Applying for a Balance Transfer

    • Consider the administrative fees. If it is too high, then transferring your dues may not be beneficial.
    • Consider the applied rate of interest. If it is a 0% loan, find out about the period for which it would remain interest-free.
    • Think about the one-time processing fee. Lower administrative fees would lower the effective rate of interest, an indicator of your actual cost of borrowing.
    • Check the minimum monthly payment amount. Clear the full outstanding balance at the end of the month if you want to benefit from the lower interest rate and fees.
    • Find out about the penalty clauses. Defaulting may revert the introductory rates to the original rates.
    • You may not be able to transfer the full balance. Most banks will let you transfer a balance equivalent to a percentage of the credit limit available on your card.
    • Consider the impact of balance transfer on your credit score. Too many transfers may negatively affect the score.
    • Think about the impact on your credit utilisation ratio since you’ll now have a higher credit availability. Try not to stretch it.

    These points will help you manage your credit card debt and make the best use of a balance transfer facility.

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